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The trek to a 2021 fantasy football title begins now.
No matter if your league plays for bragging rights or jelly beans, it’s playing for real now with Week 1 rolling through the weekend.
That’s why you’re here, right? Given the season-long stakes attached to all of your weekly roster decisions, let’s get your lineups in the best possible shape by laying out our Week 1 rankings and an off-the-grid sleeper at the three marquee positions.
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Week 1 Top 10
1. Patrick Mahomes, KC (vs. CLE)
2. Kyler Murray, ARI (at TEN)
3. Lamar Jackson, BAL (at LV)
4. Josh Allen, BUF (vs. PIT)
5. Jalen Hurts, PHI (at ATL)
6. Russell Wilson, SEA (at IND)
7. Aaron Rodgers, GB (at NO)
8. Justin Herbert, LAC (at WAS)
9. Ryan Tannehill, TEN (vs. ARI)
10. Matthew Stafford, LAR (vs. CHI)
Week 1 Sleeper: Baker Mayfield, CLE (at KC)
Consistency remains an unsolved puzzle for Mayfield, but his big games are monsters. Four times last season he threw for at least 290 yards, and he scored a total of 14 touchdowns (including a rushing score) in those contests.
It’s tough to time Mayfield’s big days, but the game flow could drive him that direction. Assuming Mahomes sets off his typical fireworks, Cleveland will need Mayfield to keep pace—even if that means throwing the ball nearly (or more than) 40 times.
Tack on the chance Odell Beckham Jr. is ready for this contest (he’s officially questionable), and there might be enough to net Mayfield a top-five stat line.
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Week 1 Top 20
1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. NYJ)
2. Dalvin Cook, MIN (at CIN)
3. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. GB)
4. Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. ARI)
5. Jonathan Taylor, IND (vs. SEA)
6. James Robinson, JAX (at HOU)
7. Antonio Gibson, WAS (vs. LAC)
8. Nick Chubb, CLE (at KC)
9. Austin Ekeler, LAC (at WAS)
10. Aaron Jones, GB (at NO)
11. Joe Mixon, CIN (vs. MIN)
12. Raheem Mostert, SF (at DET)
13. Najee Harris, PIT (at BUF)
14. David Montgomery, CHI (at LAR)
15. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (vs. CLE)
16. Chris Carson, SEA (at IND)
17. Miles Sanders, PHI (at ATL)
18. Saquon Barkley, NYG (vs. DEN)
19. Josh Jacobs, LV (vs. BAL)
20. Mike Davis, ATL (vs. PHI)
Week 1 Sleeper: Trey Sermon, SF (at DET)
There’s a non-zero chance San Francisco’s starting running back, Mostert, paces the position in Week 1 points. Even if he did, there could still be enough production to go around for Sermon to warrant at least a FLEX play.
Detroit was dreadful against the run last season, allowing the most fantasy points to the running back position. This defense can make a star out of any running back, and the same is true of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
But Sermon isn’t just any running back. The 49ers traded up to get him in the first round for a reason. He might handle third-down and goal-line duties from the jump, and it’s possible he’ll push for even more right out of the gate.
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Week 1 Top 20
1. Davante Adams, GB (at NO)
2. Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. CLE)
3. DeAndre Hopkins, ARI (at TEN)
4. DK Metcalf, SEA (at IND)
5. A.J. Brown, TEN (vs. ARI)
6. Stefon Diggs, BUF (vs. PIT)
7. Calvin Ridley, ATL (vs. PHI)
8. Justin Jefferson, MIN (at CIN)
9. Keenan Allen, LAC (at WAS)
10. Terry McLaurin, WAS (vs. LAC)
11. Tyler Lockett, SEA (at IND)
12. Robert Woods, LAR (vs. CHI)
13. Adam Thielen, MIN (at CIN)
14. Allen Robinson, CHI (at LAR)
15. DJ Moore, CAR (vs. NYJ)
16. Brandon Aiyuk, SF (at DET)
17. Cooper Kupp, LAR (vs. CHI)
18. Julio Jones, TEN (vs. ARI)
19. Diontae Johnson, PIT (at BUF)
20. Tee Higgins, CIN (vs. MIN)
Week 1 Sleeper: DeVonta Smith, PHI (at ATL)
Smith was a quarterback’s best friend in college. The Eagles think he’ll be the same in the NFL, and they should give him that chance already in Week 1.
They needed a difference-maker at receiver, so they traded up for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. They’ll give Smith all the targets he can handle.
Against a defense like the Falcons, who were dead last in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers last season, those opportunities could turn into huge numbers really quick.